Action and Adventure, Brass, Drama, Film, TV, and other visual media scores, Live recordings

Opening Scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark – Live (rescore)

Scored for: brass quintet (trumpets, horn, trombone, and tuba)

The prologue for Steven Spielberg’s 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark introduces Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) as a tomb-raiding, whip-cracking adventurer, deep in the South American jungle searching for a lost golden idol. Jones manages to evade several life-threatening dangers, as well as duplicitous comrades, only to find himself confronted, in his ultimate escape, but his worst fear (snakes!).

For this rescore, I followed John William’s original soundtrack as a model for the “feel” of each scene, since I didn’t have the luxury of discussing the scoring with Steven Spielberg, but I still came up with an original, rather than derivative, score. This new soundtrack is written for a brass quintet (two trumpets, a french horn, a trombone, and a tuba).

There are two stand-out moments for me in the score. First, when the spiders prey on Jones and his assistant (Alfred Molina), the brass players key their instruments without blowing into them, creating clicking sounds to mimic the spiders. Second, I wrote my own “Indiana Jones theme”, which the brass play over the final escape to the seaplane. In John Williams’ score, this is the most memorable theme. I hope you find my “theme” just as exciting and memorable.

The score is performed by The Brooklyn Brass, recorded live in concert on 3 August 2017 at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT.

Note that the video portion of the film is the property of Paramount Pictures, Lucasfilm, et al, and is used for purposes of illustrating my film scoring. No copyright infringement is intended. The dialog and sound effects were recreated by “Phil D” and “Jake” on Vimeo ( The music is Copyright © 2017 Steven K. Sanford.

Please do not republish this film clip elsewhere on the internet or use without permission.

(updated 11 December 2017)

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